Orlando Fringe Festival names new theater producer

click to enlarge Orlando Fringe producer Michael Marinaccio is passing the torch to Lindsay Taylor ahead of the 2020 Festival - Photo credit Ashleigh Gardner/Orlando Fringe
Photo credit Ashleigh Gardner/Orlando Fringe
Orlando Fringe producer Michael Marinaccio is passing the torch to Lindsay Taylor ahead of the 2020 Festival
The 29th annual Orlando Fringe is still 10 months away, but we already know that big changes are in store for 2020, because Fringe Festival producer Michael Marinaccio has stepped down after eight years and is taking on the new title of show director effective July 1.

Marinaccio, who was a longtime Fringe artist before succeeding Beth Marshall as Fringe producer, will focus on directing Fringe's artistic endeavors, while his former associate producer, Lindsay Taylor, steps up into the newly created role of theater producer.

"Mike has dedicated over eight years to growing the Orlando Fringe,” Fringe executive director Alauna Friskics said in a prepared statement, crediting Marinaccio with "elevating the quality and bringing never-before-seen productions to Orlando.” Friskics says Marinaccio will continue to leverage his relationships with international Fringe artists to “take Fringe to the next level with curated content like Winter Mini-Fest and our year-round events.”

“What led to the title change was a yearlong conversation with Alauna about my future with the organization and my desire to be an artist once again,” Marinaccio told me in an exclusive interview ahead of Monday’s announcement.

In a public Facebook post, Marinaccio wrote, “I said from the beginning that when I felt I had done all I had set out to do with the Festival, that I would move on. Now the time has come for me to pass the torch.”

Marinaccio’s duties in his new role will include organizing January’s Winter Mini-Fest, and “selecting/booking/creating the content for all year-round events and Fringe-produced events during the Festival,” such as Tonight at Midnight and Flashlight Cabaret. “I will also be overseeing the Outdoor Stage at the May festival, and assisting with the transition this year,” he says.
click to enlarge Lindsay Taylor and Michael Marinaccio - Photo via Lindsay Taylor
Photo via Lindsay Taylor
Lindsay Taylor and Michael Marinaccio
Lindsay Taylor, the Fringe’s new theater producer, has served as Associate Producer for the past two years, and produced numerous Orlando Fringe shows since 2012 – including the award-winning Lil Women: a rap musical, in addition to touring the North American Fringe circuit. “My new role will keep all the responsibilities I was previously doing, adding performance scheduling and the lottery, all with additional leadership responsibilities.” Taylor told me. “Mike’s role will be focused on curating entertainment for our special events, while I will be focused on our production and programming for the May festival.”

Taylor says her main goal as the new Orlando Fringe theater producer is “to help foster a community of growth and diversity, and to set our artists up for a successful festival financially, creatively and emotionally.” 

Before the 2020 festival arrives, Taylor is heading out on the Fringe circuit for the summer with her new solo show, Willi Carlisle’s The Lightweight, a story about “a nerd who suffers a setback and gains redemption by becoming a boxer.” With his newfound free time, Marinaccio plans to focus on his company Dynamite Lunchbox Productions, which presented Tod Kimbro’s Wasteland, as well as on creating and producing shows to tour. “I'll also be acting again, hopefully in the very near future,” he promises.

“I'm most proud of the relationships and trust we have built with the artists,” Marinaccio told me in closing. “Serving them has truly been one of the greatest honors of my life, and I think Orlando Fringe does it better than nearly any festival on the planet.”

Applications for artists to perform in the 2020 Orlando Fringe Festival become available on Sept. 1, 2019, at orlandofringe.org.

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